Restoration Services Standards

DeBergerac Productions, Inc. has over 30 years of experience in audio and visual media restoration and preservation. We work closely with several museums and archives, including the George Eastman House International Museum of Photography and Film, Eastman Kodak, the Strong National Museum of Play, and the Rare Books and Collections Department of the University of Rochester.

We have preserved and restored camera original film prints, paper audio recordings, even video tapes that were rescued after a fire. We have worked with a broad range of clients, from families interested in making their old 8mm films viewable again to collaborating with Eastman Kodak and the Library of Congress to prepare the famous Zapruder film for electronic access.

We believe that all media is precious and deserves the utmost attention at each point of the preservation process. Many companies tout their technical strengths, and we certainly can compete in that arena, but we are also sensitive to the media’s content and historical value, be it public or personal.

We recognize media migration, transcoding, and storage is an evolving field that is constantly redefining its standards. Part of our business model is to keep up to date and to apply these standards while protecting original materials from further harm.

To help us achieve this, we are members of:

International Association of Sound Archives (IASA)
American Moving Image Archivists (AMIA)
The Photographic Historical Society (TPHS)

Our process and procedures

We begin the process by assessing the historical significance of the media and determining the best course for its preservation (the prevention of further loss due to the deterioration of the original) and restoration (the conversion of an original to an enhanced new format for accessibility and long-term storage).

For sound media, we have a large library of playback systems for sound reproduction. We monitor each recording in real time as it is digitized. We replicate the original playback speed of each source and we only work on one master at a time. The only exception to this is when we transfer early disc (shellac, aluminum) or cylinder recordings. Playback at normal speed can have an adverse impact on the original as this is a mechanical process of reproduction (styli are generally much harder than the recording material), so we transfer these media at 1/2 normal speed to protect the originals from harm and then digitally speed-correct the file.

We digitize each master recording as a 96kHz /24-bit WAV or BWAV file. We do not manipulate, equalize, or add any noise reduction to this archival file. We do offer sound enhancing and restoration services, but these are not done to the original archival recording, rather a separate file is generated. For each file, we generate a detailed log of each recording which can be applied to your metadata filing system. We offer access copies of these master files, either lower resolution MP3’s or CDs.

For visual media, we work with both film (8mm, 16mm, and 35mm) and standard video formats including 8mm, VHS, Beta, 3/4 inch, 1/2 in Helical scan. Betacam, Digital Betacam, and 1inch conversions are also available. Each original is converted to a Standard Definition DVD and a Quicktime file (720 x 480-Motion JPEG A) with uncompressed 48 kHz audio. Like audio conversions, we only work on one master at a time and we do not try to correct the original file in anyway. We offer video enhancement as well as standard definition to high definition or web file conversions, but these are not done to the original file, rather a separate file is generated.

For film, we work closely with certified labs as we sheppard the materials through the preservation or restoration process. For films that are to be viewed in HD, they are digitzed in HD format (1920 x 1080 Apple ProRes 422) that can be downconverted to DVD for standard viewing. For film-to-film preservation, we prefer having the original film scanned (2K or 4K per frame) and written back out to Kodak Polyester stock. Film restoration services (scratch & dust removal, color correction and image stabilization) are available.

%d bloggers like this: